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Tony Iommi dismisses ‘rock is dead’ talk, readies Tony Martin-era Sabbath box set

Tony Iommi
(Image credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for ABA)

Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi is convinced that rock music is in rude health, and isn’t about to fade away anytime soon.

Speaking to the Consequence of Sound website, Sabbath’s founding guitarist addressed the topic raised on an annual basis by Kiss bassist Gene Simmons, and said, “I don’t think rock is going to die… that’s been said for years.”

“Good music is not going to go,” Iommi continued. “There's always going to be a market for it. There are going to be an amount of bands that fall by the wayside — as there always is, there always will be. But there are certain bands that are going to stick out and going to be there. You've got Metallica up there — they're not going to go away. They've got a lot of fans and they've got a great fanbase. There are a lot of bands out there. No, the music is not going to go away.”

Speaking to Noisecreep, Iommi revealed that, having reissued Ronnie James Dio-era Sabbath albums Heaven And Hell and The Mob Rules, he’d like to dig into his personal vaults in order to compile a proper retrospective of Tony Martin’s time in the band, which began with 1987’s The Eternal Idol album and lasted through to 1995’s Forbidden (save for the period when Dio returned to the band for 1992’s Dehumanizer).

“I've got a lot of lots and lots and lots of recordings of stuff we've done in the past that's never seen the light of day,” he revealed. “I'd like to sort some of that out and put that on some of the albums. We are gradually going through these box sets and then there will be a Tony Martin [era] box set at some point coming out and stuff with Ian Gillan maybe.”

“It's unfortunate that over the years Tony Martin has got buried in all this Ozzy and Dio stuff and everything,” Iommi added. “There will be a period now where we'll be able to release the box set with the Tony Martin albums with some good outtakes as well. I've already mixed [it] here at home, so that's all ready to go, but we have to wait until the time is right. We can't put all these things out together — it would cause confusion.”

“I've got boxes and boxes of stuff that's probably never been heard,” the guitarist admitted. “Even I can't remember it all, it's just a matter of rolling through it and finding it all.”

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